Religious Orders

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Review

Posted: Saturday November 21 2015 @ 7:39pm

Religious Order: Books

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I haven't truly loved a book this much in a long, long time. I haven't been as sad to have a book end, divorcing me from the characters' lives, since I last read the Lord of the Rings.

This isn't plot-heavy book. There's a simple plot holding things together, but it's not the important thing in the book. The important part are the characters and their various arcs. The characters themselves cover a wide variety of species, races, genders, and biologies (or lack thereof). Some get bigger arcs than others, but everyone gets something. Everyone changes over the course of the book. It's glorious.

It's not a perfect book. Some arcs are a bit too tidy. It's almost as if each chapter was an episode in a TV series. It's sort of like, say, the Mary Tyler Moore show. Most episodes revolved around Mary, but there would be episodes for other characters, too. Even Murray would get Murray-centric episodes, although they usually sucked.

This book reads a lot like that. It's very episodic. I didn't mind. It fit the nature of the book, but does serve to point out the minimal nature of the overlying plot.

The book ends on an open note, much like a TV season might. There's some resolution, but the door is clearly open for future volumes. I eagerly await them. (No TV-style cliffhanger at the end of the book, though. It's a standalone book.)

I made my resolution to read fiction only by writers other than white males based on this blog post. Coincidentally, she read the same book at the same time. She loved it as much as I did. My favorite part of her review is where she details just how much this is a gorgeously queer book.


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